Yi Kwang-Su and Modern Literature: Mujong

Yi Kwang-Su and Modern Literature: Mujong Review

Yi Kwang-su (1892-1950) was one of the pioneers of modern Korean literature. When the serialization of Mujong (The Heartless) began in 1917, it was an immediate sensation, and it occupies a prominent place in the Korean literary canon. The Heartless is the story of a love triangle among three youths during the Japanese occupation. Yi Hyong-sik is a young man in his mid-twenties who is teaching English at a middle school in Seoul. Brilliant but also shy and indecisive, he is torn between two women. Kim Son-hyong is from a wealthy Christian family; she has just graduated from a modern, Western-style school and is planning on continuing her studies in the United States. Pak Yong-ch'ae is a musically gifted young woman who was raised in a traditional Confucian manner; due to family misfortune, she has become a kisaeng but remains devoted to Hyong-sik whom she knew as a child. The Heartless goes beyond the level of romantic melodrama and uses these characters to depict Korea's struggles with modern culture and national identity.A long critical introduction discusses Yi Kwang-su's life and work from his birth in 1892 to the publication of his first novel The Heartless in 1917. It contains in-depth analyses of the novel, Yi Kwang-su's literary theory, and early short stories.

Title:Yi Kwang-Su and Modern Literature: Mujong
Edition Language:English

Enjoy the book review !

    Yi Kwang-Su and Modern Literature: Mujong Reviews

  • James F

    A translation of Yi Kwang-Su's novel Mujŏng, "The Heartless", with a lengthy introduction and bibliography (about 20% of the total pages) by the translator Ann Lee. Yi's novel is an essential "classi...

  • John Armstrong

    This work is generally considered to be the first truly modern Korean novel. The language (that is, the Korean of the original) is much more modern than that of traditional and “new” novels, and t...

  • Marielle

    This book was the first Korean novel ever written, and for that alone should be read by anyone trying to read the most important literary works of the century.But, for those of you with less lofty asp...

  • Jennifer

    Noted as the first modernist novel ever written in Korea, "Mujong", or "The Heartless" by Yi Kwang-su, is a story that takes into account many of the changing aspects of Korean society with its contac...

  • Ashley Marie

    If I hadn't have been forced to read this for a class, I never would have picked it up much less even heard about it. But I'm glad I did. Of course, as a stand alone novel, it may be considered weak o...

  • Tina

    This book poses an interesting question: What does it mean to be 'human'? The relationships in this book are so complicated, which is what makes the story so enthralling. It does become a little too p...

  • Tricia

    I would never have chosen this book on my own, despite my interest in East Asian studies. But after reading this book for a class, I must say that I really enjoyed it. ...